CASEY'S HAWAII JOURNAL
Day 1: It is Monday the 24th day of October and my wife Lisa and I are on a United Airlines flight to the annual Hawaii lacrosse tourney. I used my miles to bump us up to first class which I thought would be nice. The problem is the plane is really old and we are in row 1. Row 1 means there is a wall in front of me and I can't extend my feet. Oh well, at least we get free beverages, a nice meal and I get to be the first one off the plane which is nice when you arrive in paradise.


This will be my 4th Hawaii tourney and it is always the highlight of my year. What is better than going to a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and playing great lacrosse? My favorite part of the tourney is that I get to hang out with my friends. I live a fast paced lifestyle that demands constant travel and it makes it very hard to just chill with my boys. Also, I will leave here with new friends. That's the special part of lacrosse.


Later that night: The flight went well. I give the pilot a 7 on his landing. The salmon was great and my wife seemed to enjoy her stuffed chicken. It is late in Honolulu and we were met at the airport by a local lacrosse coach, Bon! She is a vibrant personality and brought a bunch of her players to help with our luggage. A girl's lacrosse player, Kasey, gave us a Hawaiian lei! The guy laxers were really cool and after being in Hawaii for 15 minutes, I already had some new friends. Bon is nice enough to let me use her Kia Sportage for the week! It is a stick and perfect for the island. We say our goodbyes until the following weekend and we head to the Sheraton Moana Surfrider in Waikiki. It is great to be here!

Day 2: It is Tuesday morning and I'm sitting on my ocean view room drinking a fresh cup of Kona coffee. It's a little overcast but the feel of this place is special and I'm excited for the day. There is a ton of surfers in the water and after I write this there will be one more out there. After a surf and a little breakfast, Lisa and I will be taking a nice ride up to the North Shore of Hawaii. We will be staying at the Turtle Bay resort for a couple days prior to the start of the tourney to hang out and relax.


Day 4: Turtle Bay lived up to its expectations as we enjoyed a nice couple days of relaxation. I actually tried out a hot stone massage at the spa which was nice and basically ate good fish and read some books. I surfed daily and my wife didn't leave the pool area. We also met a lot of other couples from around the world. Romance was in the air!


Day 5: After waking up for an early morning run we packed our bags and had to check out. The bill was more expensive than I thought it would be, but a little pampering is always worth it. Besides, I'm a professional lacrosse player and we make the big bucks. Later that morning we drove to the Northeastern point of the island and watched these gnarly kite surfers. They were pretty crazy but it definitely looked like a lot of fun. Maybe someday!



After a quick lunch at Mcdonald's we drove to Central Pacific Regional Park near Pearl Harbor. I had set up a clinic a couple weeks prior and didn't know how many kids would show up. It turns out about 70 showed up, both boys and girls, and we had a great time for about 2 hours. They were mostly Hawaii natives and a few military kids. Overall, they lacked experience but certainly not enthusiasm. It is great to see the game growing all over the world. They liked the tricks and went crazy for the Brine gear I handed out. After the clinic, I had to rush out of there and check into yet another hotel for our first team meeting.


Day 6: Wimmer Soultions is the name of my team. It is run by a group of cool guys from Seattle. Matt and Brad put an excellent team together and I thought our chances of winning the tourney were pretty good. I was excited to play with Boyle and Harrison before teaming up with them this coming summer for the world games. We also had Tillman in net, Brodie, McClay, E. Martin on D, and Booth, Corno, Aldrich, Watkins running some offense. The quote of the week had to come from the tournament announcer. "Wimmer Solutions has more pros than the New Jersey Pride". I had to laugh.


On Friday we scrimmaged 3 teams from Japan. They were enthusiastic about playing against professional players but our experience and depth proved to be too much. We spent a lot of time chatting with them and answering lots of questions. They seem to be very knowledgeable about the game and follow a lot of the American lax scene. I look forward to meeting their best players in London, Ontario in July 2006.


After the games, Tillman and I, along with our ladies, went for a sunset surf. It was cool until a local starting calling me and my wife beginners. We met the only rude Hawaiian.


That night we had a dinner and attended a party with some of my team. The party scene is pretty good at the tournament but certainly nothing compared to when Darla Burns is in the house.


Day 7: We beat my old team Marin in the semi finals and Crease Monkeys in the finals. Team Wimmer has taken its first Hawaii championship 11-9. It was great to play with different young players from all over and it is always good to win. Certainly the trip has been a success. That final night was the Halloween party and what a blast it was. I liked Michael Watson's Richard Simmons outfit the best.

I hope you all enjoyed my brief travelogue from Hawaii. I would like to thank my teammates, Hawaii Lacrosse, and Brine for making the trip possible.

Aloha! Mahalo!

                       Casey


Photos by Casey and friends and John Strohsacker


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